THE DAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John’s Gospel tells us that when Jesus “breathed” on the disciples, the Holy Spirit came into them, empowering them to forgive sins and to gather all people into union with one another.
The book of Genesis had explained the divisions among nations with the story of the Tower of Babel. In rebellious pride, human beings had struggled to become equal to God. The result was chaos, strife, the inability even to speak the same language among themselves. Today’s reading from Acts tells how the Spirit has just the opposite effect. Strangers from many nations hear and understand one another, each in his or her own tongue.
This message of unity in the Spirit is repeated in the reading from Corinthians. There are many gifts, many ways to serve. One way is not “higher,” nor one person “better” than another. There is but one Spirit, who accomplishes all the different works we do, acting through us.